SC3875 : The Tower of Refuge Illuminated

taken 8 years ago, near to Douglas, Isle of Man, Great Britain

The Tower of Refuge Illuminated
The Tower of Refuge Illuminated
Ten minutes to nine; the full effect of the tower's lighting can now be appreciated.

LinkExternal link - "Isle of Man's Tower of Refuge to be lit in purple" (BBC News)
The Tower of Refuge as Night falls
A series of photographs of The Tower of Refuge in Douglas Bay. Taken between 7.40pm and 8.50pm.
The Tower of Refuge
The Tower of Refuge, an instantly recognisable feature of Douglas Bay, was erected chiefly through zeal of Sir William Hillary; the founder of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.

The tower is built on top of Conister Rocks, a partially submerged reef within Douglas Bay, also known as St Mary's Isle. Prior to the building of the refuge (and the new pier) these rocks had claimed many lives.

After several shipwrecks upon the semi-submerged rock, Hillary realised that the coast was too far to swim to. A lighthouse or some kind of sanctuary should be built for survivors to await rescue. Sir William, who personally contributed a high proportion of the costs, secured a substantial number of public contributions for funding the building.

After its construction the refuge, which was built to look like a castle, was stocked with provisions for any shipwrecked persons. The tower originally housed a bell for summoning of help.

The Tower of Refuge derives its name from a poem by William Wordsworth, "Dignum laude virum Musa vetat mori." which includes the lines “A Tower of refuge built for the else forlorn. Spare it, ye waves, and lift the mariner, struggling for life, into its saving arms! Spare, too, the human helpers! Do they stir 'Mid your fierce shock like men afraid to die? No; their dread service nerves the heart it warms, And they are led by noble Hillary.” (LinkExternal link - On Entering Douglas Bay)

The first stone for the tower was laid by Lady Hillary on Easter Monday, April 23rd, 1832, since when not a single accident has occurred!

In 2008 the tower underwent extensive maintenance work. The exterior part of the tower was repointed and lighting installed.

LinkExternal link - Isle of Man guide
LinkExternal link - Douglas Lifeboat
LinkExternal link - Poetry Atlas “on Entering Douglas Bay”
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SC3875, 551 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Sunday, 24 April, 2011   (more nearby)
Tuesday, 3 May, 2011
Tower   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SC 388 755 [100m precision]
WGS84: 54:9.0221N 4:28.1231W
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! SC 383 756
View Direction
EAST (about 90 degrees)
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Image classification(about): Geograph
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